Stafford Co-op Football's Brian Mazzone shares how one coach helped pave the way for his coaching philosophy.
Stafford Co-op Football’s Brian Mazzone shares how one coach helped pave the way for his coaching philosophy.
By James Thomson, NFP Brands
October 6, 2020
Stafford Co-op Football’s Brian Mazzone knows a thing or two about building a strong team culture. Since taking over the Stafford Co-op Football Program in 2015, which is made up of players from host school Stafford H.S., Somers H.S. and East Windsor H.S., Mazzone has turned them into a winner. More impressively, he has established a culture to be emulated. In continuation of the Connecticut High School Coaches Association Coaches Appreciation Week, we could not think of a better person to share his thoughts on the subject of the impact of great coaches on their players. He credits much of what he has accomplished to those he played for and coached under. One of them is long-time Enfield H.S. football coach Jim “Papa Bear” Lyver.
“Papa Bear is the first person outside of my family to ever tell me that he loved me. For a high school kid who didn’t say that often it resonated. He attended my first game in college and stayed the whole time and I never left the sideline.
I went through periods of time where I hated him when I was a lazy, entitled sophomore and I didn’t get it and wasn’t reaching my potential. He poked and pushed it and I hated it so much. At times I wanted to quit. However, eventually I got it and I got what he was doing. It paid off at the end of my sophomore year and the trust was built.
For the next two years I loved playing for Coach. I knew I could count on him, but more importantly he knew he could count on me. He is one of the most caring people that I know and he’s always checked in on my the rest of my life. I’ve heard from him when I had children, he was right there when my parents died, he is the true definition of a coach. His impact didn’t end after four years of football.
I’d like to think I do a lot of the same things with my players that he did with me. The impact continues.”
For more inspiring stories about coaches that have had an impact on coaches throughout Connecticut that have had an impact, visit: http://www.nfpsportsconnecticut.com/blog . To share your story, visit https://bit.ly/CelebrateCoach2020